Hello and God’s Peace! My name is Matthew Milbrodt. I am originally from the rural Toledo suburb of Genoa, Ohio, and I am coming to this internship via Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. I am a 2007 graduate of Bowling Green State University with a bachelor’s degree in adolescent education for English language arts (I had intended to teach high school literature). My home congregation is St. John Lutheran Church in Williston, Ohio. The area of Northwestern Ohio that I’m from hosts a delightful mix of experience and culture from rural, urban, and Lake Erie island life (and when I say I lived near Cedar Point, people recognize the area). The majority of my family have lived and worked in this same part of Ohio for generations.
I have previous professional experiences that seem to have all led, one to another, to the point where I am today, where I recognized a call and sought out ministry. There has been the whisper of the calling in my heart since high school, but I ignored it until recently. Out of college, I found good work with a bank and left my pursuits of a teaching career. I worked my way up to a supervisor position at the bank, but after about six years of working there, severe financial difficulties hit the company and most locations would end up closing. I was unemployed and went back to school for six months to learn new technology skills. An old friend from high school planned to try and expand his business, and I ended up managing his computer repair store. This worked out for about four years, but then the technology market changed and financial issues came to that company as well. I realized that I was being pushed out of my comfort zone and into service. I ended up following my younger sister’s footsteps and headed to Trinity Seminary.
I am looking forward to getting to know the people of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, as well as the people of Ankeny. I have been to many different states, but I regret to say I’ve never been to the great state of Iowa! Doing God’s ministry in the world might require a person to expand their comfort zone. I expect that from my upbringing, there will be plenty of things I encounter in Ankeny that will coincide within my life experiences, but I’m certain that there will be many opportunities for me to expand that comfort zone as well. During the summer of 2019, I had the privilege of working as an intern hospital chaplain, and I’m interested in the possibility of doing a similar sort of pastoral work again. Pastoral church leadership has recently had a number of unprecedented new challenges with regard to the 2020 world-wide pandemic. These challenges make it both an interesting time to be a seminary student and an anxious time, and I feel fortunate to be in a position to try and find ways to meet these challenges, until we can all get back to experiencing what we consider to be normal.
I hope that in the near future, I will be able to meet you (perhaps even in person) and together we can grow in our shared Christian fellowship and service to God.
Vicar Matt Milbrodt